Posts tagged "Layers"

January 14, 2016

Adding Layer Groups in Photoshop

Layer Groups are an excellent way to organize a complex multilayered document. To create an empty Layer Group, click the Create Layer Group (the folder) icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. The Group will be added above the currently targeted layer. If no layers are targeted, Photoshop adds the group to the top of the layer stack.

To create a new Layer Group while simultaneously placing targeted layers into that group Group select Layer > Group Layers or drag the targeted layers (in the Layers panel) to the New Group icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, or use the keyboard shortcut Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + G.  The group will be added above the topmost currently targeted layer.

To ungroup layers select Layer > Ungroup Layers or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + G (Mac) | Control + Shift + G (Win).

5:16 AM Permalink
January 11, 2016

Drag and Drop to the Center of a Document in Photoshop

Holding the Shift key while dragging and dropping a layer(s) between two documents will place the “dropped” layer(s) into the center of the destination document.

If there is a selection in the destination document, holding the Shift key while dragging and dropping an image will drop it into the center of the selection.

5:59 AM Permalink
January 5, 2016

Adding Layers to Layer Groups in Photoshop

When dragging and dropping a layer into a Layer group, Photoshop positions the layer at the top of the Layer stack (within the group). Holding the Shift key when releasing the mouse will position the layer at the bottom of the stack (within the group).

5:16 AM Permalink
November 23, 2015

More Shortcuts for Targeting Layers via the Keyboard in Photoshop

• Option + “[“ or “]” (Mac) | Alt + “[“ or “]” (Win) targets the layer above or below the currently targeted layer.

• Option + Shift + “] “or + “[“ (Mac) | Alt + Shift + “] “or + “[“ (Win) adds the next layer up or down to the targeted layer(s) (note when you get to the top or bottom of the layer stack, Photoshop will “wrap around” to continue adding/subtracting layers).

• Option  + “,“ or “.”  (Mac) | Alt  + “,“ or “.” (Win) targets the bottom/top -most layer.

• Option + Shift + “,“ or “.”  (Mac) | Alt + Shift + “,“ or “.”  (Win) targets all layers that fall between the currently targeted layer to the top or bottom of the layer stack.

Note: these shortcuts are essential when recording actions as they help to select layers, but do not record the specific “name” of the layer in the action.

5:01 AM Permalink
November 20, 2015

Moving Layers in Photoshop

Command + “[“ or “]” (Mac) | Control + “[“ or “]” (Win) moves selected layers up or down.  This is a very useful shortcut when recording actions as the specific name of the layer is not recorded.

5:02 AM Permalink
November 19, 2015

Color-coding Layers in Photoshop

Control-click (Mac)/ right-click (Win) on the eye icon or the layer thumbnail on the Layers panel to color-code a layer. Note: the Background must be converted to a layer to color-code (click the Lock icon in the Layers panel to convert it to a layer).

5:31 AM Permalink
October 30, 2015

Viewing Layer Masks in Photoshop

To view a Layer mask, Option -click (Mac) / Alt -click (Win)  on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel.   Tapping the  “\”(backslash) toggles the display of a layer mask on and off (as a red rubylith overlay).  Looking at the Channels panel, you can see that this shortcut toggles the channels visibility.

5:04 AM Permalink
October 29, 2015

Targeting the Layer Mask in Photoshop

Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + “\” (backslash) targets the layer mask in the Layers panel. Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + 2 targets the layer.

5:03 AM Permalink
October 28, 2015

Moving and Duplicating Masks in Photoshop

Drag a layer mask or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to move it from one layer to another.

Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) a layer or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to create a copy of the mask.

Option + Shift -drag (Mac) | Alt  + Shift -drag (Win) to create copy of a layer mask while simultaneously inverting the mask. (Note: this shortcut does not work with a vector mask – in order to invert a vector mask, select the path with the Direct Selection tool and click the “Subtract From Shapes Area” icon  in the Options bar.)

5:02 AM Permalink
October 27, 2015

Deleting Masks in Photoshop

To delete a mask, target it on the Properties panel and click the Trash icon at the bottom of the panel.

If you prefer to use the layers panel,  target the mask and click the Trash icon, or drag the mask thumbnail to the Trash icon at the bottom of Layers panel. If you prefer to bypass the option dialog box, add Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) while clicking the trash icon will delete the mask without applying it.

Most of the time, I prefer to Control -click (Mac) | right -click (Win) on the layer mask and choose delete or apply the mask from the context sensitive menu.

5:01 AM Permalink
October 26, 2015

Adding Masks in Photoshop

To add a mask to a layer, click on the “Add Layer Mask”  icon in the Layers panel. Click once to add a layer mask and click again to add a vector mask (or you can Command -click (Mac) | Control -click (Win) the mask icon to add a vector mask).

To add a layer mask that automatically hides the content of the layer (or the selection), as opposed to revealing it as it does by default, Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the icon.

Use Command + I (Mac ) | Control + I (Win) to invert a layer mask, or click the Invert button on the Properties panel!

5:00 AM Permalink
September 24, 2015

Toggling Layer Visibility in Photoshop

• Command + “,” (comma) (Mac) | Control + “,” (comma) (Win) toggles the visibility of the currently selected layer(s).

• Command + Option +  “,” (comma)  (Mac) | Control + Alt +  “,” (comma)  (Win) shows all layers (regardless of which layers are selected).

• Option -click (Mac) |  Alt-click  (Win) on the eye icon in the Layers panel to toggle visibility of all other layers. To make all layers visible (as opposed to only those that were previously visible), Control-click (Mac) / right-click (Win)  the eye icon on the Layers panel and select “Show/Hide all other layers”

5:06 AM Permalink
September 8, 2015

Swapping Heads in a Family Portrait in Photoshop

Learn how to swap heads in a family portrait in my free video (Swapping Heads in a Family Portrait in Photoshop) from

4:59 AM Permalink
September 4, 2015

Using Blend Modes to Emulate an Image Transfer Effect in Photoshop

See how easy it is to use blend modes to emulate an image transfer effect in Photoshop in my free video (Using Blend Modes to Emulate an Image Transfer Effect in Photoshop) from


5:10 AM Permalink
September 3, 2015

Selecting Soft Edge Objects using Refine Edge in Photoshop

Discover how to Select Soft Edge Objects using the Refine Edge  feature in Photoshop in my free video from

5:05 AM Permalink